Great news! El Mundo en Tus Manos is back again for the 2019-2020 school year! If you haven’t subscribed or downloaded a free edition, it is a five article newsletter that highlights news in the Spanish-speaking world in comprehensible Spanish. It allows your students to become aware of what is happening throughout the world while they are acquiring more Spanish. This year, we have covered such a wide range of topics from Venezuela’s government to a frog looking for love and the Forever 21 clothing line for Selena. We try to find articles to engage a wide range of students.
It has been a lot of fun working with Martina this year on this resource. We made some changes like trying out the digest version (that wasn’t sustainable to continue throughout the year) and adding a list of authentic resources to really bring to life the articles. The authentic resources are a variety of videos, photos, social media or longer articles. However, we had a long discussion about what was more feasible for next year.
We decided to go back to biweekly, but make the biweekly versions even better! In the newest biweekly edition, we will go back to doing the digest version along with the footnoted version and non footnoted version. The digest version is a short paragraph that can be easily read by students in level 1. In addition, we will make a projectable version of each article with its image. We also plan to make specific activities each week to help you supplement these articles and turn them into assignments. Finally, as bigger articles pop-up in “off” weeks, we will publish a one-page article on these topics. This will also help biweekly subscribers and weekly subscribers because we won’t have to repeat any articles. We are also committed to showing you that even though this resource will be biweekly, you can still use this every week.
One of the questions that we get asked most frequently as people want to buy the newsletter is how to use them in classes. I have written about how I designed our whole second trimester around these articles. In it, I included my whole unit with can-do statements and activities. You don’t have to create a whole unit to use these activities either. After that, my students created news article presentations based on an article of their choice. Finally, they created videos based on another set of articles to create a news show.
Other than my bigger unit, I use these articles with the novels that we read. I will pull out all of the articles related to a country before any novel that we read. I like to create a crossword based on the articles for students to fill out. It is even better when it is nice outside and I can spread the articles out on picnic tables. I also like to pull out articles that relate to the book and have students compare and contrast the article with the novel in a presentational writing. The article on scientists making robotic turtle eggs to catch poachers in Costa Rica was PERFECT after we read Robo en la Noche.
Many of the topics come up year after year. Even with my level 6, I like to use the articles and authentic resources to remind them of what we studied last year. We had talked about narcotrafficking in level 5, so this year we read the articles about El Chapo and his trial. It doesn’t take them long to read the articles, and it is a wonderful reminder of what we had studied.
Finally, we wanted to highlight how some of our subscribers are using the news in their classes to inspire you even more:
- Ariadne Costa and Kathy Gonzalez-Guevara will typically use the articles to read and discuss with their classes. Some of the topics Kathy will have her students discuss include what they understood, liked and didn’t like. Ariadne noted that she has been able to stretch the articles into a full week when the authentic resources are appropriate. I love this idea! I was thinking that you could even have students read an article a day to start off the class then delve into the authentic resources for that particular article.
- Albert Fernandez uses the articles for students to read by themselves and also in groups. After, he will develop comprehension activities with them. He wrote a whole blog post dedicated to the activities that he has his students complete.
- Some teachers like Margaret Gillen have students read the articles for homework. They discuss all of the articles as a whole class then break up into groups based on their favorite article to discuss it further.
- Nicole Gómez uses them with her students at the college level for levels 1-4. Students break up into pairs to read their favorite article then summarize it for the class in English. Sometimes, Nicole will pull up a picture to help clarify. She hopes to move the discussion more to Spanish in the future. She has also incorporated the articles into her exams. Students have to summarize the main idea and answer multiple choice questions. For older editions, she uses them during FVR (Free Voluntary Reading) when students need to read a bit more, but they don’t need to start a new book.
- Sarah Wisenhunt uses the articles along with Pictoline Infographics for Viernes Actuales for her level 3 class. Students read for 20 minutes then Sarah will conduct a question and answer session to summarize in Spanish. Then, students will give their opinions in English. She chose to have them speak in English to demonstrate their comprehension.
- Finally Ky Pinkerton had students read each article for a minute to get the gist of the article then pass the article to another student and read a new article. Students made a list of the articles that they thought were interesting, and Ky grouped students based on their interests. With their individual article, they have to write a summary in Spanish and English and make a quiz on their article. Then they present it! She also modified this for her lower levels by having them write 5 sentences in Spanish to serve as a summary to focus on input.
I hope that these awesome subscribers gave you ways to use these articles in your classes! Also, don’t forget to join the El Mundo en Tus Manos Facebook group to share even more of your resources!